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Commissioner urges support for journalists

Adequate measures especially in terms of access to information, remuneration and insurance would enable journalists compete effectively with their contemporaries.

By Ikuru Lizzy

Nigerians have been urged to strengthen partnership with journalists to enhance their proficiency as the ‘watch dogs of the society’.

Mr Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, reiterated this at the opening ceremony of the Correspondents’ week on Monday in Port Harcourt.

Represented by Mr Celestine Ogolo, Director, Public Enlightenment, Ministry of Information, the commissioner spoke on the year’s theme “Survival of Journalists in Security and Economic Uncertainties in Nigeria; focus on Strategic Reporting of the Maritime Sector”.

Decrying the hazards and restrictions faced by journalists in the course of their duties, the Commissioner said adequate measures especially in terms of access to information, remuneration and insurance would enable journalists compete effectively with their contemporaries.

He, however, frowned at the attitude of some journalists on issues of solidarity to colleagues who find themselves in endangered situation while also enjoining them to prioritize their safety and well-being.

Similarly, Chairman of the chapel, Mr Amaechi Okonkwo, noted that the essence of the correspondence week was to enable members observe a period of review, self-examination and relax with colleagues as they round up the year’s activities.

“There is need for journalists to reflect on their survivability especially in the midst of the covid – 19 pandemic and other anti-social vices in the society,” he said.

Also speaking, a guest speaker, Mr Jossy Nkwocha, Head of Corporate Communications, Indorama Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Group commended the chapel for the theme of the event.

“The theme of the week was apt, especially in the area of knowing how journalists can leverage on their profession to enhance economic sustainability,” he said.

Nkwocha also advised Journalists to strive towards developing their academic potentials for further opportunities. (NAN)